Photos: On the road with Kashmir’s Bakarwal nomads

UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2020 07:12 PM IST
A nomadic shepherd belonging to the Bakarwal community crosses a mountain pass on his way down with his flock of sheep and goats, near Peer-Ki-Gali, high up in the Pir Panjal mountain range in Jammu and Kashmir on June 2.The Bakarwal community comprises around 0.4% of the former state’s population according to the 2011 census. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
A shepherd carries a lamb in a sling while a group crosses the Peer-Ki-Gali pass in the Pir Panjal mountain range. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
A Bakarwal nomad, accompanied by a mule and a trusty Bakharwal guard dog, leads the way as a group make their way from towards alpine meadows for the summer months. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
The Bakarwals are categorised as a subgroup of the Gujjar community and noted for their specialisation in rearing goats and sheep. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
A Bakarwal woman with a child and a man carrying a bundle of utensils cross a rocky mountain pass on their way down to greener pastures. The division of labour tends to split household chores and running camps into the women’s share while the men tend to the animals, take care of security and engage in seasonal tourism related jobs. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
A melting glacier feeds a stream along the route taken by the Bakarwals on their way down to the meadows and eventually towards Kashmir Valley. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
A Bakarwal herd passes a glacier. Environmental changes and the region’s conflict have brought down the number of grazing grounds the community has access to. Despite this, the overwhelming majority have stuck to their traditional vocation. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)
With the winter snows melting, Bakarwal herds will become a frequent sight in the coming months around the Kashmir Valley and its higher reaches. Making their way around Jammu and Kashmir as the weather turns colder, they will eventually follow age-old routes towards the plains in Jammu as winter’s chill approaches. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A nomadic shepherd belonging to the Bakarwal community crosses a mountain pass on his way down with his flock of sheep and goats, near Peer-Ki-Gali, high up in the Pir Panjal mountain range in Jammu and Kashmir on June 2.The Bakarwal community comprises around 0.4% of the former state’s population according to the 2011 census. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A shepherd carries a lamb in a sling while a group crosses the Peer-Ki-Gali pass in the Pir Panjal mountain range. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A Bakarwal nomad, accompanied by a mule and a trusty Bakharwal guard dog, leads the way as a group make their way from towards alpine meadows for the summer months. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

The Bakarwals are categorised as a subgroup of the Gujjar community and noted for their specialisation in rearing goats and sheep. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A Bakarwal woman with a child and a man carrying a bundle of utensils cross a rocky mountain pass on their way down to greener pastures. The division of labour tends to split household chores and running camps into the women’s share while the men tend to the animals, take care of security and engage in seasonal tourism related jobs. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A melting glacier feeds a stream along the route taken by the Bakarwals on their way down to the meadows and eventually towards Kashmir Valley. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A Bakarwal herd passes a glacier. Environmental changes and the region’s conflict have brought down the number of grazing grounds the community has access to. Despite this, the overwhelming majority have stuck to their traditional vocation. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

With the winter snows melting, Bakarwal herds will become a frequent sight in the coming months around the Kashmir Valley and its higher reaches. Making their way around Jammu and Kashmir as the weather turns colder, they will eventually follow age-old routes towards the plains in Jammu as winter’s chill approaches. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

About The Gallery

The seasonal migration of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bakarwal nomads is underway, in sync with the melting of winter snow which opens up traditional routes along the high mountain passes that remain blocked for months. These traditional herders with their bedding, livestock and families in tow will now make the rounds of valley’s lower reaches in search of pastures, trading opportunities and seasonal jobs before taking to the passes once winter begins knocking on the door.

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